State v. Locks, No. 1362

CourtSupreme Court of Arizona
Writing for the CourtSCRUGGS; UDALL
Citation397 P.2d 949,97 Ariz. 148
Docket NumberNo. 1362
Decision Date30 December 1964
PartiesSTATE of Arizona, Appellee, v. Charles LOCKS, Appellant.

Page 949

397 P.2d 949
97 Ariz. 148
STATE of Arizona, Appellee,
v.
Charles LOCKS, Appellant.
No. 1362.
Supreme Court of Arizona, In Banc.
Dec. 30, 1964.

[97 Ariz. 149]

Page 950

Sullivan & Glenn, Phoenix, for appellant.

Robert W. Pickrell, Atty. Gen., and William E. Eubank, Chief Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee.

[97 Ariz. 150] SCRUGGS, Justice.

This is an appeal by the defendant, Charles Locks, from a judgment of conviction on March 6, 1963, of exhibiting and keeping for sale obscene or indecent pictures and writings.

At the time of filing the Information, the statute under which the defendant was charged, A.R.S. 13-532, read as follows:

'A person is guilty of a misdemeanor who: 1. Writes, composes, prints, publishes, sells, distributes, keeps for sale, gives, loans or exhibits an obscene or indecent writing, paper or book to any person, or designs, copies, draws, engraves, paints or otherwise prepares an obscene or indecent picture of print.'

A.R.S. 13-532 does not define 'obscene or indecent.' A definition of these words was supplied by the Legislature in A.R.S. 13-531.01, but that definition was adopted subsequent to the commission of the offense now before us and can have no effect on this case.

The State contends that the defendant was obliged to make a determination of the obscene character of the magazines which were introduced in evidence as the obscene or indecent material exhibited and kept for sale by the defendant.

The defendant contends that at the time of the commission of the acts charged, the law did not state any standard or guide from which he could determine the obscene nature of the material which he is charged with keeping for sale or exhibiting; that he was required to use his own standard in making such determination and to take his

Page 951

chances that his conclusion was in accord with the conclusions of the various executive branches of the government charged with enforcing the obscenity statutes.

Heretofore, we have held that scienter is implicit in the statute above quoted. State v. Locks, 91 Ariz. 394, 372 P.2d 724. Accordingly, the defendant cannot be found guilty unless he had knowledge of the obscene or indecent nature of the material which it is contended he was keeping for sale and exhibiting. Smith v. California, 361 U.S. 147, 80 S.Ct. 215, 4 L.Ed.2d 205; State v. Jackson, 224 Or. 337, 356 P.2d 495.

The law must be definite and certain so that the same standard of conduct may be applied by all persons affected. The dividing line between what is lawful and unlawful cannot be left to conjecture. The citizen cannot be held to answer charges based upon penal statutes, the mandates of which are so uncertain that they will admit to different constructions. The crime and the elements constituting it must be so clearly expressed that the ordinary person can intelligently choose in advance what course it is lawful for him to pursue. [97 Ariz. 151] Connally v. General Construction Co., 269 U.S. 385, 46 S.Ct. 126, 70 L.Ed. 322; State v. Tsutomu Ikeda et al., 61 Ariz. 41, 143 P.2d 880; State v. Menderson, 57 Ariz. 103, 111 P.2d 622; State v. Jay J. Garfield Bldg. Co., 39 Ariz. 45, 3 P.2d 983.

Where the keeping for sale and exhibiting of obscene or indecent writings or pictures is the charge before the court, it is incumbent upon the court to determine whether the material is obscene as a matter of law. Unless the material is obscene as a matter of law, the dissemination thereof is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The legal test for obscenity established by Federal case law is whether to the average person, applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of the material taken as a whole appeals to prurient interest....

To continue reading

Request your trial
27 practice notes
  • Meyer v. Austin, No. 69-678-Civ.-J.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
    • August 14, 1970
    ...values. A national standard has been followed by state courts outside of Florida in post-Jacobellis cases, e. g., State v. Locks, 97 Ariz. 148, 397 P.2d 949 (1964); State v. Vollmar, 389 S.W.2d 20 (Mo., 1965). In two cases a local standard was used and they were reversed, for that or other ......
  • Hanby v. State, No. 1242
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alaska (US)
    • December 23, 1970
    ...1969), cert. denied, 397 U.S. 936, 90 S.Ct. 941, 25 L.Ed.2d 117 (1970); Entertainment Ventures, Inc. v. Brewer, supra; State v. Locks, 97 Ariz. 148, 397 P.2d 949 (1964). The judiciary of our own state has applied such a test on many occasions. See, e.g., Harris v. State, 427 P.2d 638, 640-6......
  • Pima County Juvenile Appeal No. 74802-2, Matter of, No. CV-89-0159-PR
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arizona
    • April 4, 1990
    ...Grayned v. City of Rockford, 408 U.S. 104, 108-09, 92 S.Ct. 2294, 2298-99, 33 L.Ed.2d 222, 227-28 (1972); see also State v. Locks, 97 Ariz. 148, 150-51, 397 P.2d 949, 951 The challenged statute, A.R.S. § 13-1404, provides clearly ascertainable standards of guilt, whether one is considering ......
  • State v. Cutshaw, No. 2
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • February 8, 1968
    ...v. State, 220 Ind. 165, 41 N.E.2d 609 (1942), for a case holding a similar statute unconstitutionally vague, and compare State v. Locks, 97 Ariz. 148, 397 P.2d 949 (1964), and State v. Bowling, 5 Ariz.App. 436, 427 P.2d 928 6 We do not intend to pass upon appellants' contention that the jur......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
27 cases
  • Meyer v. Austin, No. 69-678-Civ.-J.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
    • August 14, 1970
    ...values. A national standard has been followed by state courts outside of Florida in post-Jacobellis cases, e. g., State v. Locks, 97 Ariz. 148, 397 P.2d 949 (1964); State v. Vollmar, 389 S.W.2d 20 (Mo., 1965). In two cases a local standard was used and they were reversed, for that or other ......
  • Hanby v. State, No. 1242
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alaska (US)
    • December 23, 1970
    ...1969), cert. denied, 397 U.S. 936, 90 S.Ct. 941, 25 L.Ed.2d 117 (1970); Entertainment Ventures, Inc. v. Brewer, supra; State v. Locks, 97 Ariz. 148, 397 P.2d 949 (1964). The judiciary of our own state has applied such a test on many occasions. See, e.g., Harris v. State, 427 P.2d 638, 640-6......
  • Pima County Juvenile Appeal No. 74802-2, Matter of, No. CV-89-0159-PR
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arizona
    • April 4, 1990
    ...Grayned v. City of Rockford, 408 U.S. 104, 108-09, 92 S.Ct. 2294, 2298-99, 33 L.Ed.2d 222, 227-28 (1972); see also State v. Locks, 97 Ariz. 148, 150-51, 397 P.2d 949, 951 The challenged statute, A.R.S. § 13-1404, provides clearly ascertainable standards of guilt, whether one is considering ......
  • State v. Cutshaw, No. 2
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • February 8, 1968
    ...v. State, 220 Ind. 165, 41 N.E.2d 609 (1942), for a case holding a similar statute unconstitutionally vague, and compare State v. Locks, 97 Ariz. 148, 397 P.2d 949 (1964), and State v. Bowling, 5 Ariz.App. 436, 427 P.2d 928 6 We do not intend to pass upon appellants' contention that the jur......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT